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Planning approval granted for new Maghull North station scheme

The development of a new station in Maghull has moved a step closer after planning permission was granted for the scheme at a Sefton Council planning committee meeting last night (Wednesday 18th January). The planning committee approved plans for the new Maghull North station, which will be located just off School Lane, between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail’s Northern Line. The station is a key piece of infrastructure in the Sefton Local Plan, supporting demand from an adjacent new housing development which will include 370 homes, with more homes planned for the area in the near future. It will also offer relief for the existing station in the town. The £13m scheme is being funded through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF), Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association, which currently owns the land on which the station will be built. It will form part of the wider £340m investment by Network Rail and the Liverpool City Region in rail improvements over the next three years. Facilities at the new station will include:-

  • Staffed station building and ticket office with passenger toilet.
  • Passenger waiting facilities on platform
  • Step-free access with lifts and a bridge to, from and between both platforms and the station building.
  • 156-space car park with blue badge, motorcycle parking and cycle storage.
  • Pedestrian and cycle routes from School Lane and Park Lane to the station and bus stops on School Lane.
  • Future provision for electric vehicle charging points.

Work is due to start on site in August 2017, with the station opening planned for May 2018.

Cllr Gordon Friel, Merseytravel Deputy Chair and Lead Member for Rail said: “It’s great news that the new station development at Maghull North has been given planning approval as it will provide a real boost to the local community. “It is another example of our Long Term Rail Strategy being put in to practice and will encourage more people to use public transport for both commuting to work and leisure activities. “We look forward to working with our partners in Network Rail, Merseyrail and Sefton Council when the work to build the station gets underway later this year.”

 

Claire Rawson, Network Rail’s Project Sponsor said: “This station part of a £340 million investment in the railway of the Liverpool City Region and it will play a vital part in accommodating the growing number of passengers using the network now and in the future.”

 

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail’s managing director, said: “We welcome this decision by Sefton Council and look forward to serving and running the station as part of the Merseyrail network once it is completed. “It will bring the benefits of quick, easy to use and good value local rail services to more residents, and provide them with good links into Liverpool and a variety of other destinations by rail.”

 

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “I am delighted that planning permission has been granted for the new Maghull North station. “It is vitally important that as our towns and communities grow there is sufficient infrastructure to support them. “The new station is not only fantastic for the local economy but will further improve public transport capacity and connectivity across Sefton and the City Region.”

  More information on the scheme can be found at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/maghullnorth  

Public views sought on proposals for a modern Sefton bus network

People in Sefton have the opportunity to comment on proposals to make the town’s bus network simpler and clearer from next Monday (16th January).

Proposals will be available for view and comment online at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreview from 9am on Monday 16th January until 5pm on Thursday 26th January.

There will be three drop-in events where members of the public can speak to Merseytravel staff about the proposals and give their feedback. These will take place on the following days:

  • Friday 20th January, 10am to 3pm – Maghull Library
  • Monday 23rd January, 10am to 2pm – Southport railway station
  • Thursday 26th January, 9am to 4pm – Bootle Strand

This follows events across Sefton in September and October which saw over 1200 people attend and more than 800 offer their feedback on their frequency and pattern of bus use, including those services publicly funded by Merseytravel, and what might make them use buses more.

Sefton is the third area to be reviewed as part of a wider review of the whole Liverpool City Region bus network which began in May this year.

Historically bus routes have been considered on a piecemeal basis and the idea is to consider the commercial network and the supported network – that which relies on public subsidy via Merseytravel – as a whole for the first time to ensure it best reflects current working and living patterns, new developments and how they are served.

This is one of the first undertakings of the Bus Alliance, a formal partnership with operators Arriva and Stagecoach, with the aim of transforming bus services to encourage more people to take the bus. However, bus reviews involve all bus operators.

Part of the review has been looking at the current supported bus network and considering how increasingly limited public resources can be focused where there is most need.

Impacts of changes have been mitigated by re-routing or extending existing commercial services where possible to negate the need for a service supported by public funding.

To make the network easier to understand there are also plans to make the evening network to reflect the daytime services both in route and number. The proposals endeavour to ensure that everyone is within reasonable distance of a bus service.

The proposed changes would come into effect in April 2017.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel said:“The input we had from Sefton residents on their patterns of bus use and what would get them to use it more has been extremely helpful and insightful. We now want comments on these detailed proposals before we finalise the plans.

“Through these bus network reviews, we’ve worked hard with bus operators in re-scoping the network and believe the proposals will offer a network that is clearer, simpler and with some real benefits for the people of Sefton.

“We recognize that there may be some proposed changes that don’t suit everybody with some people having to walk further to catch a bus, but we’ve been looking at how we can best meet people’s needs within budget constraints due to government spending cuts.

“This is us continuing to work innovatively through the Bus Alliance when other areas outside the Liverpool City Region, due to budget pressures, are seeing some communities left without any bus services.”

The Bus Alliance is an agreement between Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach to improve bus travel for people across the Liverpool City Region. In time, it is hoped that other bus operators will join the Alliance.

The Alliance’s ambition is for a thriving, affordable and sustainable bus network that offers the customer a value for money and hassle-free journey experience – leading to an increase in fare paying passengers.  It will look at creating simpler networks and fare structures to more investment in the buses themselves. Encouraging more people to travel by bus drives investment and means less reliance on the public purse.

Key work areas include:

  • A review of the City Region bus network;
  • Investment in new and greener vehicles;
  • On board Wi-Fi and at-seat USB charging points on all new vehicles;
  • Improved bus links to and from John Lennon Airport;
  • Streamlined service changes to make bus services more stable;
  • Simpler ticketing and a review of zonal structures and pricing;
  • Review of all customer information including more Real Time Information;
  • Better integration of bus and rail services;

• Improved Customer Service training for all bus drivers

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